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St Michael With St John Church of England Primary School

Nurture, Inspire, Achieve!




Pupils Reception will have experienced a range of listening activities and will have acquired a sound underpinning of phonological awareness. They will be able to distinguish between speech sounds and many will be able to blend and segment words orally.


Autumn 1

During the first half term in Reception, pupils will be taught to recognise most of the letters in the Alphabet system. They will learn four new letter/sound correspondences per week and will begin to use phonic strategies to blend for reading these phonetically regular words from the very start. One additional lesson per week will focus solely on the recognition of irregular words or Tricky Words. This is due to the fact that tricky words require pupils to develop a sight recognition of each word. Every lesson follows a highly structured and predicable teaching sequence which begins by revisiting prior learning in order for pupils to secure their knowledge of taught phoneme (sounds) / grapheme (letters) correspondences. Following this, the teach element introduces pupils to one new phoneme/grapheme correspondence. They will also learn to form this letter correctly, identify both the upper / lower case letter, learn the letter name and the sound (phoneme) as well as learn long and short vowel sounds in order to avoid any misconceptions from the very beginning. In the practise part of the lesson, pupils will engage in blending activities. These skills will be taught using explicit phonic strategies that are consistently used throughout every year group within school to provide consistency and clarity. Finally, the apply part of the lesson gives pupils the opportunity to use their understanding of the new phoneme/grapheme within a ‘real’ reading situation.

The phonics lesson is delivered using a multi-sensory approach so as to appeal to all learning styles. Pupils are taught letters/sounds via an engaging story, song with an action (mnemonic) and visually engaging illustrations. This allows for a secure retention of new learning due to its ability to inspire young learners.


Autumn 2


Continuing on from the previous half term, pupils are taught the final group of letters in the alphabet. They also learn to identify words that have double ending letters such as, ff-huff ll-hill zz-buzz ss-hiss ck- duck. By the end of the Autumn term, pupils will be able to form all of the letters in the alphabet and will be starting to blend to read simple CVC (consonant/vowel/consonant) words. They will have also learnt to read the first 6 tricky words: I, the, to, no, go, into.


Spring 1


At the beginning of the Spring term, pupils will continually revisit Section 2 taught in the Autumn term in order to consolidate their prior learning. They will also be introduced to increasingly complex phonic concepts such as the most commonly used digraphs. These are two letter representations that when they feature together in a word, make just one sound (phoneme). The English Alphabet system may only have 26 letters, but there are 42 different spoken sounds depending on the combination of letters that go together in a word. An example of this is: shee-p. Sheep contains two digraphs (two letters that make one sound).


Pupils will begin by learning the consonant digraphs such as: ch, sh, th, ng. They will then progress onto learning vowel digraphs such as: (oo, er, ar, oi), (ai, ee/or, ie, oa), (ue, ou). Children will continue to apply their blending skills in reading focusing on words containing two-syllables and complex words containing digraphs. They will also learn to read some more Tricky Words (he, she, me, we, be, was, are, all, do).


Spring 2


The digraphs learnt so far will be constantly revisited. During this half term, pupils will learn the trigraphs (three letters that make one sound) igh, air, ear, ure. They will also blend words and sentences containing the new correspondences. Pupils will also progress onto Section 4 of the Jolly Phonics programme where they will learn to read words containing adjacent consonants (CCVC and CVCC). Words such as: frog, spot, tent, lamp.


In Section 4 pupils will be able to represent each of the 42 phonemes by a grapheme. They will have some experience of reading simple two-syllable words and captions.

The purpose of this Section is to consolidate pupil’s knowledge of graphemes in reading words containing adjacent consonants (CVCC and CCVC).


Summer 1


During Summer 1 pupils will continue to progress through Section 4 but will be taught to blend increasing complex words that contain both adjacent consonants and all of the digraphs and trigraphs introduced in Section 3. 


Summer 2


As pupils progress towards the end of their time in the Reception Year, they will continue to consolidate their phonic knowledge by applying their skills of digraphs / trigraphs and will be challenged to use increasingly complex words through reading sentences. Within this Section, pupils will also be introduced to words that contain Split Vowel Digraphs (a_e, e_e, i_e, o_e, u_e) such as: sale, Pete, bike.


By the end of the year, pupils will have also been taught to recognise a number of new Tricky Words: go, no, so, they, you, one, by, come, some, your, said, here, there, only, old, like, have, live, give, little, down, what, when, why, where, who, which.